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G-TOP3
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Member since: 13.05.2009

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      06.07.2009 23:13
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      Comprehensive and substantial paper with great supplements

      The Sunday Times have used the tag line of them being THE Sunday papers, and in my opinion its exactly that. Sunday papers are quite substantial and can set you up nicely for a whole week's worth of reading if you decide to read everything! Here's a summary of all the different supplements in this excellent paper.

      Main Paper
      This covers the latest news, as while as editorials and more substansial articles in the centre. I find the views on display quite evenly balanced and always of high quality. British news is covered mainly at the start of the section, while international news is towards the back.

      News Review
      This is more of an article based section, with a mixture of interviews, summary of the week just gone's news and sometime includes extract from biographies. Its a quality section with a variety of topics covered fully without ever being more than two or three pages long.

      Business and Money
      These are two separate sections but are similar in content and size. While the business section would be more of interest to those within the business world, the finance section is far more reader friendly and usually contains articles on best ways to save/make money. Its extremely useful especially during the credit crunch and contains a handy guide at the back to the best deals on accounts, mortgages etc

      Sport
      One the the finest sports sections out of all the british sunday papers. It covers most sports pre-dominantly football, rugby and cricket, but has articles on less popular sports as well such as sailing and cycling. The quality of journalism here is exceptional with such sporting journalism legends as Brian Glanville and Hugh McIllvaney still contributing thoughtful and insightful articles.

      Culture
      A substansial section covering most of the arts world and including tv and radio. The section is very well thought out and again spreads its articles evenly with regards to the various arts. The music section is particularly good, with interesting articles on bands and artists outside the mainstream

      Magazine and Style
      Two separate magazines, with Style concentrating more on fashion and celebrities with the magazine itself covering more current affairs issues. To be honest i feel Style magazine has gone down hill over the last few years, and tends to be a bit of a parody of itself. The magazine has the classic a Life in the Day of section as the back page, each week looking at a typical day in the life of people from a variety of background.

      Other sections include Homes and Holidays and these are decent enough supplements without offering anything particularly original.

      I'm a huge fan of the Sunday Times, and believe it offers a comprehensive and wide ranging information service. No matter what your interests, you should find something to intrigue you, and its substantial content means whole Sundays can be spent in its company!

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        11.06.2009 21:39
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        No need to go for expensive tins, stick with these

        Good old cheap and cheerful tesco value range, always handy when looking after the pennies. The chopped tomatoes is another member of the value range, and probably one of its most popular and widely used.

        The chopped tomatoes come in a 400 gram tim and cost around 38p usually. They are easily recognised with the normal tesco value red and white branding (just make sure you put the chopped tomatoes tins in your trolley, and not the plum tomatoes tins like i've done a few times!).

        As with most value products there is no clip to open the tins, so you have to use your own tin opener. The chopped tomatoes themselves are absolutely fine and tasty enough. There is no 'cheap' taste to them, and i honestly can't see much difference between these and the more expensive brands. As most people usually use chopped tomatoes when cooking something like bolognese, there is plenty opportunity to add herbs or seasoning to make your dish tastier.

        If you're buying the more expensive brands, i'd recommend that you switch to these, as there is no taste difference and they are considerably cheaper.

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        • Quantum of Solace (DVD) / DVD / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          11.06.2009 21:25
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          Well worth seeing, but make sure you watch Casino Roayle first

          Sometimes its hard to judge a Bond film. Being part of such a lengthy and iconic series, reviewing Bond is usually done within the context of all the other Bond films rather than as a film on its own merit. But then again, Bond films are so unique that they deserve a reviewing genre all on their own!

          Quantum of Solace is different from the start, as it actually can be classed as a sequel, a first for Bond films where usually there are no references made to other films, with the exception of the presence of baddies like Jaws. Its not essential that you've watched Casino Royale before this one, but i would recommend it as its makes following this film a lot easier. The basic plot sees Bond tackling an environmentalist who's actually a member of a secret organisation intent on staging a coup in bolivia to gain control of ts water supply.

          After having so much fum with the soviets in the 80's films, it feels with this bad guy plot, that the makers have tried too hard to find a sinister plan that's particularly topical and relevant today. Nevertheless, Bond films have never let a bad plot get in the way of making films, so why start here.

          Generally, its a good film, not exceptional by any standards, but an enjoyable film nonetheless. It ineviatbly suffers form following from such a great film as Casino Royale, but taken as two films, they are very simialr in style and feel. I think most people got over excited with Casino Royale, as it was such a departure form the usual Bond formula. However, this means that Quantum of Solace is only guilty of not trying to be different again, which would seem strange, as the producers have obviously decided that the more moody, serious Bond is the way forward.

          Its worth watching this film after seeing one of Roger Moore's more jolly outings as Bond in the 80's, as the difference is quite extreme! craig gives another good performance, taking the Bond into much deeper emotional waters, and showing a more humane and brutal character as the same time. Other characters such as Dominic Greene, the baddie and Camille Montes as the love interest all tick the usual Bond boxes, however the continued absence of Q is a shame (although probably doesn't fit in with the mood of these films).

          Overall, its a worthy addition to the Bond collection, and worth viewing as the second part of Casino Royale. It will be interesting to see if the producers continue with the same style for the next bond, or once again try and create something different.

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            10.06.2009 19:26
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            The Godfather of Soul demands you buy his work!

            I came acorss this album when going through amazon looking for one extra thing to put in my basket, and I only paid £2.99 for it, whic is an absilute bargain for this cd.

            The Godfather of Soul's music is something i was familiar with, but i'd never actually bought any of his cd's before. Its a fairly standard 'best of' album, the packaging is fine and there's noreal pattern to the tracks chosen.

            But when the music's this good, who cares! Sometimes the music does the talking, and this music doesn't just talk, it struts, shakes its ass and gets everyone on the goddamn dancefloor! There is an intenese energy in each song, with James Brown's sheer magnetism driving even the weaker songs.

            Standout tracks for me where the infectious 'Get Up (I feel like being a sex machine)', and the equally well known 'Papa's got a brand new bag'. I defy anyone to listen to these and not see their leg start moving! Of the songs i hadn't heard before, i really enjoyed 'I'm a Greedy Man' and 'Get on the good foot', both songs incredibly funky with a great bass line. The first track on the album 'Please Please Please' is also a belter with James Brown's vocals at its passionate best. The only track i didn't enjoy was the 80's dirge Livin' in America. I've never been a fan of the 80's and the cheap synths don't sit well with Brown's authentic style.

            I'd recommend all music fans, and not just those who are into their funk and soul to check this out. You can find plenty of cheap copies, and no house should be empty of the hardest working man in showbusiness' music! Its a perfect introduction to the music of the master, and i'll definetly be looking for more of his work.

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            10.06.2009 19:05
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            No kids party should be without these!

            Ahhh, those were the days. No kids birthday party would be complete without choclate fingers stacked tidly on the food table.

            The cadburys choclate fingers come in boxes of 150 gram which roughly contain around 25-35 fingers. That might seem sufficinet, but trust me they dissappear pretty quickly! I'm not a massive choclate fan, but for some reason i'm a big fan of these. I'm sure they contain some Willy Wonka secret ingredient, because i just can't get enough of them! The fingers are made of thin pieces of plain biscuit covered in milk choclate. They are incredinly addictive, and they feel quite light, so they are ideal as a snack or as party food (no need to restrict them to kids parties!). I think because one finger is so small, you don't feel guilty about going straight for another one.

            Obviously, they're not particularly healthy, but then they wouldn't be a treat if they were good for you would they? I don't eat them all the time as with most good treats, they taste better when you've been made to wait before eating them!

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            • youtube.com / Internet Site / 16 Readings / 15 Ratings
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              10.06.2009 13:10
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              First stop for watching anything

              There are new websites that spring up from time to time that create a real buzz, but the novelty soon wears off. Its rare that a website comes along and transforms the way we live, but youtube is one of those sites. Its very title is recognisable world wide and has started filtering into the english language just like google.

              For those who don't know, the premise is extremely simple: its a website where anyone and everyone can upload any kind of video (from the shakiest of handhelds to clips form the latest movies) and then people can watch them fo rfree. Its very simplicity has enabled this website to tap into the consciousness of people around the world, and more importantly given a platform for anyone to express their views, favourite clips, recommendations or just anout anything,

              Personally i use mainly to catch up with music videos (a situation that's in limbo at the moment as the PRS (music licencing company) is in dispute with Youtube over royalty payments, although this should be resloved soon) sports clips (essential if you want to see if the new obsucre urguyan striker your footie club has just signed is any good!) and anything that comes up on the news that i've missed. You can quite literally find everything up there!

              In essence Youtube has done what the internet set out to do, give the power back to the poeple! Its success depends on people constatnly uploading new things and others watching. Its safe to use, as content is monitored very quickly considereing its size, and its the first stop if you want a clip of anything!

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              04.06.2009 22:04
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              The leading contender in the baked bean world

              Heinz Naked Beans - the very cornerstone of the british diet! No food is quite up there with Baked Beans as one of the most iconic of British foods, so much so that visitors feel that along with fish and chips, its one culinary experience they must have.

              Heinz have the best brand recognition for the baked beans and this is reflected in the fact that they are probably the most expensive beans on the market. Seemingly, the only way other brands can attract customers is through slashing their prices. An example of this would be the HP baked beans (3 for a £1). As its a good deal i do buy these although they are never as nice as the heinz!

              The Heinz baked beans are delicious, the sauce is nice and tomatoey with enough salt to give it a kick without being too salty. The beans themselves always taste as they should, firm enough so that they don't mush, but not too firm that they are crunchy. The baked beans greatest strength is its versatility, it can create many meals like the classic beans on toast, part of a fry up, with chips and egg etc or even in more exotic dishes, i've had them as part of a stir fry in the past!

              Heinz baked beans is the best out of all the beans out there without a shadow of a doubt, but if you're keeping an eye on the pennies, i would suggest other brands that are cheaper, as the taste is never a million miles different. And if you stick with one brand, chances are you'll get so used to them you'll forget about Heinz!

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              • Quorn Cottage Pie / Ready Meals / 30 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                02.06.2009 18:34
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                Good, easy to cook meal

                Since becoming a vegetarian about 6 years ago, the range of options available have increased quite a bit. The Quorn range are one of the main brands leading the way in meat subsitute meals.

                The cottage pie is a very good meal, and is pretty accurate in its taste to meat filled cottage pies. Quorn mince has always been one of the substitutes most accurate in its taste to its meat equivalent and so this cottage pie can be served to meat eaters without them noticing too much!

                Once cooked in the oven its very tasty and the mashed potaoes on top is good. The part undreneath is a mixture of quorn mince with a variety of vegetables like peas and carrits and is also very nice. One tip i would recommend is once you've cooked it in the oven, give it a few minutes under the grill to brown up the mashed potatoes, it gives in a slightly crunchier taste.

                The only downside is that is does taste a little like a ready meal, but as that's what it is, i can't complin too much! Its reasonably priced and defintely worth trying, wether you're a meat eater or not.

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                • 24 Hour Party People (DVD) / DVD / 23 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                  02.06.2009 15:10
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                  Definitely worth a watch

                  I bought this in tesco for about £4 a couple of years ago after seeing it in the cinema when it was originally reelased.

                  Its a film that doucments the rise of the 'Madchester' scene during the 80's and early 90's, specifically through the eyes of Tony Wilson, the man behind Factory Records and the Hacienda. The film is based on the true story of bands such as Joy Divsion and Happy Mondays, but as Wilson wrly observes in the film ' If you can choose between truth and legend, print the legend'.

                  Steve Coogan plays Tony Wilson, and indeed has based his most famous character, Alan Partridge, partly on Wilson. Its a really fun and interesting movie, focusing on the most iconic moments in the 'madchester' era, and the film manages to convey the mood and excitment of the period prefectly. It can be said that its focuses heavily on Fcatory records bands, with hardly no mention of th Smiths and later the Stone Roses, but its hard to criticise this, when the film so happily highlights all the mistakes and turmoil between the main protagonists.

                  The music in the film is obiouusly fantastic with some clever editing of actual footage with scenes from the film, notably the fist ever Sex Pistols gig in Manchester.

                  Documenting a whole musical movement in such a short space of time can be probematic, but 24hr party people manages to tell the story at a good pace, and there's plemty of humour and apparances from well known British actors to keep things ticking along. If you don't know much about the 'madchester' era, this is the perfrect film to watch, and if you know quite a bit anyway, its still worth a watch for the music and the unabashed celebration of sex, drugs and rock and roll!

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                  01.06.2009 17:48
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                  Makes getting up in the morning that little bit easier!

                  I'm a big fan of cereals and like nothing better than a bowl for breakfast or as an afternoon snack! Crunchy Nut Cornflakes has been one of my favourites since i first tasted them.

                  I've always had a fairly plain taste and found cereals such as Frosties and Coco Pops a little too sweet and sickly. I was a little aprehensive before trying Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, having tended to stick to the good old fashioned Corn and Bran Flakes before! It does taste delicious and not too sweet, the nuts take away from the honey being too powerful a flavour so there's a a nice balance there. As with most cereals its perfect with ice cold milk. I have tried it with sweetend soya milk, but found that its just a little too sweet, so i tend to stick with just normal semi skimmed milk now.

                  There's a great deal at the moment where you can get a 750g box for £2 in most shops, so its a good time to get into them, if you haven't before! The only down side with me, is that i tend to enjoy them as a treat rather than every morning, as the taste can be a bit sickly if you eat them for a long time. However as an occasional treat, they are delicious.

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                  • myspace.com / Internet Site / 15 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                    01.06.2009 17:36
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                    If you hear about a new band, this is the place to check them out

                    It seems that most social networking sites have one 'hook' that they use to try and entice people to join. With myspace its always been about the music.

                    I joined myspace around three years ago when it was all the rage. My main reason for joining was to hear new bands. Its fairly easy to set up a profile and there are enough add ons for those who want to customise their profile.

                    As a veichle to access music, its has been phenomanlly successful, and in someway has shifted the power back to musicians and bands. Within minutes of recording a song an artist/ band can upload it onto their myspace page and the fans can hear it straight away. This has led to a lot closer relationship between the musicians and the fans, and has promted the music industry to think of more interesting ways of getting their music across. Myspace has become a useful marketing tool for record labels (for instance this week, you can listen to the new Kasabian album on myspace before its released). From when i joined where bands could upload only 4 songs, the site now allows a lot more, and some bands put their whole album up there, for people to download for free!

                    Perosnally, i've never used my profile to interact with others, just as a way of hearing new music. Myspace has tried to play catch up with sites such as Twitter and Facebook with more personalised applications, but to be honest those other sites do a better job, and myspace should stick to its 'hook' of being a brillaint site to follow music.

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                    28.05.2009 18:42
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                    Definetly worth a try

                    This is actually one of my favourite fruit juices, and feels a bit of a luxury when i buy it!

                    Its part of a series of the Copella range which offers a twist on more traditional juices. I've always found natural apple juice to be a bit to thick and turns on me after a while, although i'm still quite fond of the taste. This is the perfect solution for me as the elderlower takes away some of the apple's heavyiness. Its a fairly light drink and when served chilled is particulalrly refreshing.

                    As with most brands who offer something a little more 'upmarket' its not the cheapest drink out there, but you pay for what you get. I've found that when we have visitors that their reponse is always positive. I sometime drink Elderflower Presse, but this is a litlle unsatisfying as i don't think the elderflower in a strong enough flabour on its own. I recoomed that you try this product and its particularlty refreshing for breakfast on a warm day!

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                      28.05.2009 18:28
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                      Save yourself some monet, and use this cat litter

                      I've tried a whole range of cat litters and in my opinion this is the best value for money option out there.

                      Being from the Tesco value range, its obvioulsy cheap, nearly half the price of other brands. They come in 10 litre bags and therefore are quite substanstial, although they are a bit hard to carry as there's no handle. The packaging isn't glossy or particularly cheerful, but i doubt ayone's interested in that when they're buying cat litter!

                      The best thing about this product is that once the cat has done its business, if you leave it to dry for a bit, it holds together really well, meaning you don't have to get rid of all the litter in the tray, as the litter used holds firm together. It also doen't smell at all, and i've found with ones that give odour, they don't smell nice anyway, so i would steer clear of those.

                      This cat litter is perfect at doing its job, it not messy, doesn't smell and is very cheap, and i never bother with any other brands.

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                      • Mario Kart (Wii) / Nintendo Wii Game / 8 Readings / 8 Ratings
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                        28.05.2009 17:11
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                        Nintendo deliver once again

                        I first bought Mario Kart when it came out on the Super NES back in the day, and have managed to play it on many of Nintendo's follow ups like N64 and Gamecube. There is no doubting its a classic title and perfectly showcases Nintendo's genius for imagination and playability.

                        The Wii version is updated to include more characters, a tag team element and most significantly it can be played with the Wii wheel. The wheel has added another fun element to the game, and in a way made it more accessible. For older or young people, it removes the need to click buttons on the joypad, and enables players to 'feel' the game. It ties in brillantly with Nintendo Wii's philosophy of extending players' experiences and makes the living room a much livelier place!

                        The graphics, visuals and settings are stunning, and the imagination that has gone behind the various racetracks is mind-boggling. Its the extra elements to the game that makes Mario Kart so entertaining. While its a good enough racing game to satisfy those who just love to race, the various adventures and ability to disrupt other gamers' race adds to the depth of enjoyment.

                        There is no real suprise that Nintendo has ensured that one of ot its prized titles has been given the treatment it desreves for the Wii. Its defintely worth purchasing if you own a Wii, and the Wheel is a great addition as well

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                        • Definitely Maybe - Oasis / Music Album / 7 Readings / 4 Ratings
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                          28.05.2009 16:43
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                          Brilliant debut, and the real sound of Oasis

                          This is is the album that introduced Oasis to the world and its some introduction. As a debut album its staggering in its confidence and energy, and there are absolutely no fillers here, just one great song after another.

                          The album was probably the spark britsh music had been waiting for a long time, and while the quailty of the band's output has dimmed over the following years, anyone looking for an introduction to the band should start here.

                          It contains classics such as Rock n Roll Star, Cigarettes and Alcohol and Shakermaker and a song in Live Froever that can feel comfortable in music's hall of fame. The album radiates energy, anger and cockiness, but underneath all that are songs that have been crafted by a talented songwriter in Noel Gallagher. While the songs rip along, the vocals supplied by Liam excude personality. The swaggering frontman came to embody the laddish culture of the 90's and nowhere more than on this album does he manage to walk the walk.

                          Definetly Maybe deseves all the plaudits it has received and can rightly be recognised as a great album, and possibly the finest debut of all time. The realness and honesty of the songs reflect the working class nature of the Gallaghers backgorund, and whilel Noel went on to write further classics, his songs have never been as soulful as the ones penned here.

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